Being named the 48th recipient of the prestigious Ford C. Frick Award earlier this month is a really big deal for Joe Castiglione.

This award presented annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has a link to Central New York for Castiglione.  Being recognized for his excellence in baseball broadcasting, the Hamden, Connecticut native began his career back in the 1960s, while a student at Colgate University in Madison County.

WRUN AM 1150 in Utica, NY, and the late Llloyd Walsh are the where and who that is responsible for Castiglione getting his first taste of being heard on a commercial radio station.

This past weekend when I caught up with Castiglione, and asked for memories of how his illustrious career on the air waves began, I was blown away at the many details he  served on his time as an undergraduate in Hamilton, NY.

With 41 seasons of calling Boston Red Sox baseball to his credit, it's clear that Castiglione, who will be honored Hall of Fame Weekend July 19-22, 2024, hasn't forgotten where his love for radio began.

"I was a student at Colgate from 1964 through 1968. I called the football games on the campus station - WRCU.  Lloyd Walsh called the games on WRUN AM 1150. (Walsh) was so wonderful to me", said Castiglione, who in 2012 was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.  " From my sophomore year to when I was a senior, Lloyd let me on his broadcast to call the third quarter."

Thrift Books
Thrift Books

As a student at Colgate, during football season, Castiglione looks back fondly of working all the home games with Walsh.  Cornell, Yale, Holy Cross, and Army were some of the games the budding pro called the action on the gridiron.  When making some road games, Castiglione recalls riding with his mentor, his daughters, and wife June Walsh.

"Lloyd had a thing for stopping at Howard Johnson's to eat," laughs Castiglione.

Castiglione, who joins the likes of other broadcasting giants that are Frick winners such as Mel Allen, Red Barber, Vin Scully, and Curt Gowdy, remains closely associated with his Colgate past.  At the university's May 2023 202nd commencement, Castiglione was one of four alumni to receive an honorary degree.  Such a degree was presented for his significant contributions to society. Castiglione was presented a Doctor of Humane Letters.

"I never expected that," Castiglione tells.

Beyond calling the football games on WRUN, Castiglione remembers calling a couple of basketball games alongside Walsh.  It seemed that, to Castiglione, everyone in the region knew or was aware of who Walsh was.  Through the years others from Central New York who made it in professional baseball, who Castiglione ran into, they all spoke highly of Walsh's work.

"Mark Lemke, Dave Cash, and the commissioner (Rob Manfred), they all knew him."

At each opportunity presented, Castiglione has made it a point to make a stop in the Village of Cooperstown, and visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.  The names of some of his favorite people through the years at the Hall, former president Jeff Idelson,  Brad Horn, and current hall president Jeff Rawitch are at the top of his list.

As far as how the experience was when receiving the "call" informing him that he indeed has a place at 25 Main Street in Cooperstown forever, Castiglione has a doozy to pass along.

"Last Wednesday (December 6), it was 11:21 a.m., and my phone rang. I see area code 607, that's Cooperstown," says Castiglione, who grew up a New York Yankees fan.  When I answered it, I accidentally hung up. My son Duke ( Duke Castiglione is the lead  sports anchor at WCVB Channel 5 in Boston) wanted to record the call.  It was the longest 40 seconds before I heard from Josh."

With his early broadcasting experience dating back to 1971 when working at WFMJ in Youngstown, Ohio, Castiglione covered the Pittsburgh Pirates.  His time around Pirates' public relations director William Guilfoile and broadcaster Bob Prince (fellow Frick winner) remains precious.  When days earlier of his announcement of being selected the Frick winner, Castiglione watched as did the rest of the MLB community, when former Pirates' skipper Jim Letyland was elected to the Hall of Fame.

"I call him (Leyland)," said Castiglione.  " I'm so happy that he's going in.  Jim said he was answering 450 texts.  I have received 300. It has been so much fun answering them. I'm hearing from players, and others from the game. This is so gratifying.  Wade Boggs called. He was so gracious. He said the hardest part would be thinking about the speech I'm going to give.  Terry Francona and Dave Dombrowski were some of the others who reached out."

Going to work, beginning this spring training in Lee County, Florida, and as the regular MLB season starts, is never going to be the same for Castiglione.  The Red Sox radio network reaches out to seven states on 41 affiliates, now, in what will be his 42nd season calling games from Fenway Park and around the MLB universe, Castiglione will be seen as a Frick Award winner. He is a soon-to-be member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.  His picture and bio will be on display in the broadcasters wing for all to see, beginning in late July, then forever more.

As Castiglione makes it through his speech, among the emotions that will be rushing through his mind, surely his time as a young man at Colgate receiving direction and encouragement from Lloyd Walsh will be close by.  WRUN AM 1150, albeit for a flashing moment, will once again be on Central New Yorkers' minds.

Thank you, Joe Castiglione. Enjoy your moment in the spotlight at the Hall of Fame Awards presentation at the Glimmerglass Opera Theater in July. Central New Yorkers will be applauding.

Kristine Bellino, WIBX

Don Laible is a freelance sportswriter from the Mohawk Valley, now living in Florida. He has reported on professional baseball and hockey for print, radio, and on the web since the 1980's. His columns are featured weekly at Don can be contacted via email at 

Stars We Lost in 2022

See the famous icons we have had to say goodbye to in 2022, below.

Gallery Credit: Jacklyn Krol

11 of New York's Most Wanted Criminals with Upstate Connections

Below are individuals with ties to the Capital Region and Upstate New York. They have been designated as some of New York's Most Wanted Fugitives and should be considered ARMED and DANGEROUS.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli

More From WIBX 950